2010 Release: Lady of the Butterflies by Fiona Mountain

by Fiona Mountain

Release Date:  September 2, 2010

SYNOPSIS: On the ancient marshlands of Somerset - a place of mists and magic - a girl grows up in the shadow of the English Civil War, knowing that one day she will inherit the rich estate which belonged to her late mother. Her father, a stern but loving Puritan, once a distinguished soldier in Cromwell's army, fears for his daughter in the poisonous aftermath of the war, and for her vulnerability as an heiress. But above all he fears and misunderstands her scientific passion for butterflies. Eleanor Glanville was in fact destined to become one of the most famous entomologists in history, bequeathing her name to the rare butterfly which she discovered, the Glanville Fritillary. But not before she had endured a life of quite extraordinary vicissitude. Two marriages and an all-consuming love, which proved her undoing, a deep friendship with one of the great scientists of the day and finally, a trial for lunacy (on the grounds that no sane person would pursue butterflies) are all played out against the violent events of the Monmouth Rebellion and the vicious controversy over whether or not to drain the Somerset marshes. Now, if you drive down the M5, you will cross Kings Sedgemoor Drain - one of the first great ditches which reclaimed the land for farming and destroyed the precious habitat of the Glanville Fritillary.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of my dear readers!

You have all enriched my year immensely and I thank you for it! 

Cheers to a spectacular 2010, filled with friends, family and books!


January 2010 Releases


a quartet of 2010 Non-Fiction/History releases

US/UK Release Date:  September 30, 2010

SYNOPSIS:  This book covers both the royal families that existed in pre-Conquest Wales and the predominantly English royal families that have ruled over Wales since medieval times. The changing relationships between the rulers and the ruled in Wales are examined, over a period from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The aim is to tell the story of how Wales has figured in the development of the British royal family and its traditions. The author's previous books covered individual members of the royal families; although this book will inevitably cover individuals in the telling of the story, to some extent, the book will concentrate less on the personalities and more on the surrounding tradition and pageantry (e.g., investiture ceremonies), and there is ample scope for covering new ground. An index and select bibliography will be provided, as well as illustrations, the latter largely of monuments and locations in Wales associated with the book's theme.

US Release Date:  July 6, 2010
UK Release Date:  August 5, 2010

SYNOPSIS:  For nine hundred years the British aristocracy has considered itself ideally qualified to rule others, make laws and guide the fortunes of the nation. Tracing the history of this remarkable supremacy, ARISTOCRATS is a story of wars, intrigue, chicanery and extremes of both selflessness and greed. James also illuminates how the aristocracy's infatuation with classical art has forged our heritage, how its love of sport has shaped our pastimes and values - and how its scandals have entertained the public. Impeccably researched, balanced and brilliantly entertaining, ARISTOCRATS is an enthralling history of power, influence and an extraordinary knack for survival.

Royal Poxes and Potions: Royal Doctors and Their Secrets

Release Date:  June 1, 2010

SYNOPSIS:  In this book, acclaimed biographer Raymond Lamont-Brown casts light on a previously overlooked aspect of the monarchy. From the instigation of the royal doctor in medieval times, to the present day, the tales of secrets, murder, medical incompetence, and revolutionary operations revealed in this book make compelling reading. This is a fascinating look at the relationship between monarchs and their doctors and reveals the complex and influential position that they held. Included here are Sir William Gull, court physician to Queen Victoria, who was a suspect in the Jack the Ripper case; and Sir Frederick Treves, who not only was court physician to the four succeeding monarchs, but was also the man who helped to rescue the Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick, from a fairground freak show.

The King's Smuggler: Jane Whorwood, Secret Agent to Charles I

UK Release Date:  January 1, 2010
US Release Date:  March 1, 2010

SYNOPSIS:  Jane Whorwood was one of Charles I’s closest confidantes. The wife of an Oxfordshire squire, when the court moved to Oxford in 1642, at the start of the Civil War, she helped the royalist cause by spying for the king, and smuggling gold (perhaps as much as 1,000 kg) to help pay for his army. When Charles was held captive by the Parliamentarians, from 1646 to 1649, she organiszed money, correspondence, several escape attempts, astrological advice and a ship for him. New evidence even suggests that they may have had a brief affair. After his execution in 1649, Jane’s marriage collapsed in the one of the most public and acrimonious cases of the seventeenth century. John Fox describes the life of this fascinating woman, and the important role she played in the English Civil War.


books that make you go hmmm...

Release Date: July 27, 2010

In the last years of her eventful life, queen-duchess Aliénor of Aquitaine launches a deadly dynastic chess game to safeguard the crowns of Normandy and England for John Plantagenet, her last surviving son.

To that end, Aliénor coerces into matrimony two pawns—Juliana de Charnais, a plain and pious novice determined to regain her inheritance, and Guérin de Lasalle, a cynical, war-worn mercenary equally resolved to renounce his. The womanizing Lasalle and the proud Juliana are perfectly matched for battle not love—until spies and assassins conspire to reverse their romantic

Populated by spirited and intelligent women and executed in flawless period detail, The Sixth Surrender is a compelling love story that heralds the arrival of a major new talent in historical fiction.

Pre-order at PTTP's Amazon Store.


Wordless Wednesday

Neuschwanstein Castle


Giveaway: Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper

Okay, kiddies....with thanks to Kaitlyn at Penguin Publishing and in honor of the paperback edition of Mistress Shakespeare's upcoming release on January 5, 2010, I am pleased to bring you a new giveaway!

There is 1 copy up for grabs.  This giveaway is for US entries only (sorry to my international readers).

Giveaway ends on January 11, 2010.  Good luck to all!

SYNOPSIS:  As historical records show, Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton was betrothed to William Shakespeare just days before he was forced to wed the pregnant Anne Hathaway. Here, Anne Whateley takes up her pen to tell the intimate story of her daring life with Will. Obliged to acknowledge Will's publicly sanctioned marriage, Anne Whateley nevertheless follows him from rural Stratford-Upon-Avon to teeming London, where they honor their secret union, the coming together of two passionate souls. Persecution and plague, insurrection and inferno, friends and foes all play parts in Anne's lively tale.

Spanning half a century of Elizabethan and Jacobean history, and sweeping from the lowest reaches of society to the royal court, this richly textured novel tells the real story of Shakespeare in love.


The winner of The Queen's Confession is....

Congratulations to.....

Thank you to all who entered and posted their opinions of the tragic, royal figure that was Marie Antoinette.  You all have fascinating insight!


Now out in theaters: The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend has hit the US and is now out in theaters! 

".....a film that chronicles Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne, focusing on the early turbulent years of her reign and her legendary romance and marriage to Prince Albert. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, written by Academy Award Winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), and produced by a team including Graham King (The Departed), Martin Scorsese, Tim Headington and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York - the film has already received international acclaim"

Official Trailer

Long Live the Queen

The Queen's Coronation


Mailbox Monday: Christmas Edition

Another Monday, Another Mailbox!! This is a feature where we all share with each other the yummy books that showed up at our doors! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas (or holidays, if you don't celebrate Christmas)!  I had a wonderful time with my family and got some goodies that I wanted to share with you!

SYNOPSIS:  The Tudor period (1485 to 1603) marks in the minds of many the emergence of an English national identity. Defined by the totemic figure of the virgin queen - Elizabeth I - it witnessed the end of the dynastic uncertainties of the Wars of the Roses, the creation and triumph of the Anglican Church; the successful repulsion of foreign invaders and the beginnings of the adventure of empire; the blossoming of a sublimely gifted generation of musical composers, including Thomas Tallis and William Byrd; and the flowering of English poetry and drama, culminating in the glories of Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. But it was also a period wracked by rebellion, invasion scares, sectarian strife, and - increasingly - by worries about dynastic succession."The Tudor Chronicles" is a compelling, year-by-year chronology of this tumultuous and critical period in the development of the modern English nation. Each year is covered by a concise, informative and accessible narrative, amplified by extensive quotations from contemporary sources and accompanied by generously captioned and stunning images of the period - including portraits, maps, illuminations, royal seals, tapestries and other artefacts. Authoritative, informative and sumptuous, and compiled by a scholar who is steeped in knowledge of the period, "The Tudor Chronicles" brings a glorious era of English history dramatically and vividly to life. It is the perfect gift book for anyone with a love of, or fascination for, 16th-century English history.

Amadeus meets Little Women in this irresistibly delightful historical novel by award- winning author Stephanie Cowell. The year is 1777 and the four Weber sisters, daughters of a musical family, share a crowded, artistic life in a ramshackle house. While their father scrapes by as a music copyist and their mother secretly draws up a list of prospective suitors in the kitchen, the sisters struggle with their futures, both marital and musical—until twenty-one-year-old Wolfgang Mozart walks into their lives. Bringing eighteenth-century Europe to life with unforgiving winters, yawning princes, scheming parents, and the enduring passions of young talent, Stephanie Cowell’s richly textured tale captures a remarkable historical figure—and the four young women who engage his passion, his music, and his heart.

A sweeping novel set in war-torn 1928 China, with a star-crossed love story at its center.

In a city full of thieves and Communists, danger and death, spirited young Lydia Ivanova has lived a hard life. Always looking over her shoulder, the sixteen-year-old must steal to feed herself and her mother, Valentina, who numbered among the Russian elite until Bolsheviks murdered most of them, including her husband. As exiles, Lydia and Valentina have learned to survive in a foreign land.

Often, Lydia steals away to meet with the handsome young freedom fighter Chang An Lo. But they face danger: Chiang Kai Shek's troops are headed toward Junchow to kill Reds like Chang, who has in his possession the jewels of a tsarina, meant as a gift for the despot's wife. The young pair's all-consuming love can only bring shame and peril upon them, from both sides. Those in power will do anything to quell it. But Lydia and Chang are powerless to end it.


2010 NF Release: Queen Victoria's Children

Release Date:  June 1, 2010

Queen Victoria and Albert, the Prince Consort, had nine children who, despite their very different characters remained a close-knit family. Inevitably, as they married into European royal families their loyalties were divided and their lives dominated by political controversy. This is not only the story of their lives in terms of world impact, but also of personal achievements in their own right, individual contributions to public life in Britain and overseas, and as the children of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. John van der Kiste weaves together the lives of each of these children and shows how their mother was the thread that kept the family together. It is a refreshing insight into one of history’s most popular royal families.


Elf Yourself - Tudor style!!!!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards



unveiling the new cover for Stephanie Cowell's Claude & Camille

The upcoming novel, Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet, by the lovely Stephanie Cowell has had a facelift!  Here is the new cover:

Isn't it beautimus?

This little bad boy comes out on April 6, 2010 and will be an event at the HF Bloggers Round Table!!

SYNOPSIS:  In his early twenties, Claude Monet came to Paris, determined to make a success in painting. He quickly found poverty, obscurity and a beautiful upper-class girl Camille who threw away a life of privilege to be with him. He also made friends with a group of likewise unknown painters, often as poor as he was: Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Bazille, Manet and Cezanne and somehow through every obstacle in the world kept them together until they began to be known as impressionists. But the years of struggle and life in wretched rooms with little food began to wear on his patience and Camille's endurance until even as he was beginning to sell his work, their passionate love was descending into tragedy and he was beginning to understand that he had never completely known her.

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